13 August 2015
Jessica Lowes, Development Assistant
On a very hot Wednesday in July, a group of Ede Circle members made the journey through South London to the studio of Edmund de Waal, one of the world’s leading ceramic artists. He is best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, which have been exhibited in many museums around the world, including Kettle’s Yard. The visit was an opportunity for Ede Circle members to visit Edmund’s studio and find out more about his intriguing career.
After welcoming everyone with coffee and croissants, Edmund spoke about his early love of ceramics and also how his experience of Kettle’s Yard as a student and beyond had inspired him. In his simple workspace with white walls and a potting wheel, small balls of porcelain were given out for everyone to handle and shape as Edmund talked animatedly about his career and practice. From the potting wheel to the kiln room and then glaze testing area, a dialogue between alchemy and art seemed to resonate within the minimalist white walls. Edmund answered many questions about composition, poetry, music and light, all with generous enthusiasm, drawing on his passion for literature, history, architecture and sound.
It was a fascinating insight into his working process – both as an artist and writer. Much of his recent work has been concerned with ideas of collecting and collections, how objects are kept together, lost, stolen and dispersed, most clearly illustrated in his international bestseller, The Hare With Amber Eyes. We learnt that he has been working on a new book which explores the history of porcelain and the colour white. In many ways, it is a natural extension of his practice and his lifelong obsession with what white means and does to the world.
It was a real privilege to be able to discuss this with Edmund personally and also have a sneak preview of some new works. His passion was infectious and everyone left inspired with a new appreciation for his work.
This visit was one of the special events organised for Ede Circle members. If you are interested in joining the Ede Circle more information can be found here. Or alternatively, please contact the development team firstname.lastname@example.org / 01223 748100
Kettle’s Yard is very grateful to Edmund de Waal and his studio for their generosity and assistance in organising this visit.